Tag Archives: Retirement

So This is Retirement


retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

What do you think of when you think of retiring?  Even if you are not old enough yet to consider it, I am sure you have some idea of the perfect retirement.

Is it living on some idyllic beach watching the sunset with your Best Beloved beside you, or perhaps travelling the world with your BB, long lazy days in the garden or just sitting contemplating life?  Well yes.  I had all those thoughts too.

Willow Bay

Willow Bay

In fact at the ripe old age of 48 I “retired” with my Dashing (Not So) Young Scotsman to a secluded bay in the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island of New Zealand.  That retirement lasted all of 9 months until we decided that we were really city people and came back to civilisation.  If you are interested, I wrote a post Paradise, Phones & Phrustration about that retirement.

As soon as we returned I quickly became involved again in the business world which I loved.  Then my DYS died suddenly and I was cast adrift.  I gave my daughter my business and spent time travelling and catching up on old friends.

Fast forward some 13 years.  I now assist a friend in her Real Estate business;  this suits me very well; I know I am not a retiree and this keeps my mind active and my body physically fit.  My friend has gone off to Peru for three weeks and I am looking after the business for her.  As I am not a licensed salesperson I can’t handle any sales but I can discuss properties with clients, can do all the paperwork and generally work behind the scenes.  Well since she left I have been working about 7 or more hours a day, and I have just realised how old I am.  I have always rejoiced in working under pressure and long hours but I had forgotten…..

Today, apart from liaising with the other sales agent who is handling the selling side, chasing up a lease contract, setting up an apartment for rental (including making beds etc), answering queries in her mailbox, providing information to prospective purchasers, dealing with contractors and tenants, it was quite an easy day.  Lunch was taken on the run (but that is often the case) and fortunately my (male) friend helped me in the apartment even taking on the role of laundry maid at one point.  Then to top off the day he made dinner. How lucky am I?

So “retirement” is not all bad. But between all this running around, the sport at the Olympics on the television, and writing my blogs, when will I have time to read the next Charlie Fox novel?

“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).”
Lewis Carroll,
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass






















The World Is Going To End

The house had been sold in record time and arrangements for her to move into the retirement facility had been accomplished without any hitch.

But now, sitting in her packed up house, Elizabeth thought “The world is going to end in three days time.”  Or at least the world as she had known it up to now.

She had moved into this house as a young bride 45 years ago and now she was to leave it behind.  She would be leaving many memories both happy and sad.  Memories of days when her children were young, the accidental death of her son and the wedding of her daughter.  These memories were shared with Charles, her beloved.  But after Charles died, life did begin to be lonely.  Her daughter had her own family to take up her time.  Her friends were moving away and the house and garden were beginning to be too large for her to manage on her own.

Reluctantly she had agreed to her daughter’s suggestion that they look at what retirement villages had to offer and which if any might suit her.  There followed weeks of looking at places that if one believed their brochures, were absolutely perfect for her, but mostly they didn’t live up to her expectations. She had almost given up hope of finding the right place.

And then one day, while at the supermarket, she met an old acquaintance.  After they loaded their shopping into their cars they went off for a coffee and a catch up.

Over coffee, Rex told her that he had recently moved into a splendid retirement village.  He had his own small house; there were plenty of leisure facilities and people of his own age  with whom to spend some cheerful time.  In return Elizabeth told him of her search for a place in which to live.  He had piqued her interest and they parted agreeing to keep in touch…..


Trifecta tricycle

This is my entry in this week’s Trifecta Challenge. It follows on Fireworks an earlier entry in the Challenge.

“For the weekend challenge, we’re playing the ambiguity card again and leaving interpretation up to you.  Give us 33-333 words with this as your inspiration:

The world will end in three days.

If you want to join in, click on the tricycle above and you will be taken to Trifecta’s blog that contains all the instructions.  Do have a go.  I promise you it is fun.

Goodbye Charlie and Hello ?

For years we have been reading about robots that can take over many of the menial household and other chores.  I read these reports with a certain scepticism and a “Will it ever happen in my lifetime” question.

Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for some time but I don’t know anybody who has used one.

Charlie the robot


Well now enter Charlie.  Here in Auckland, a robot named has been ’employed’ as an aged care worker in a rest home.  Charlie is a health care robot and has been working in the village for the past couple of years.

He is designed to do simple tasks such as taking vital signs, reminding patients to take medication  leaving nurses free to focus on more personal care. Work is also being done on applications that will allow Charlie to detect when a patient has fallen or wandered off.  We are also told that Charlie can even chat with the residents albeit simply.

This is part of a three-year study conducted by the University of Auckland exploring seniors’ attitudes toward robots.   Residents of Selwyn Village their families and staff  were interviewed to determine their views on which tasks health care robots could perform and what the mechanical helpers should look like. So Charlie was “born”.   Weighing in at 45 kgs/99 lbs he has a humanoid name but a 26 cm/10.4 inch touch screen instead of a face.

Charlie has now left the village but in his place some 30 robots – in five different shapes and sizes – are being introduced to Selwyn. At this point of their evolution, the Selwyn robots can not only help provide healthcare but also enable Skype voice and video calls over the internet (numbers can be pre-entered and the connection made with one touch of a button). Some have additional brain-fitness programs to help the user’s memory, as well as entertainment in the form of music videos, photographs and games. Patients booked to see the doctor or nurse at Selwyn can interact with the medical centre’s on-site robot before their consultation.

Tubby Robot

"Tubby" - photo David White NZ Listener

One enthusiastic resident has named his robot “Tubby” which was apparently what he was called when he was younger.   And Tubby, as it happens, is rotund, standing about as tall as a domestic vacuum cleaner.

We have all heard and probably used the expression”the inmates are taking over the asylum” well now we can say with some truth “the robots are taking over the village”.

I Dream of Hiking Into My Old Age

I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then to pack my load and take off slowly but steadily along the trail.

~ Marlyn Doan

Hiking trail

One of the blogs I follow closely is Robin at Life in the Bogs and today she had this quote at the beginning of the post.  While I don’t hike any distance any more (did I ever I ask myself) and while I guess I have reached my ‘old age’ I love the sentiment expressed by Marlyn Doan.  I have never heard of this woman before but she certainly pushed a button for me.

I have posted before on some ‘older’ women and some men who achieve quite amazing feats of endurance at 80, 90 and even close to 100 years old.  What is it in their makeup that allows them to keep on keeping on?   When conducting my Memories courses I have visited many retirement homes and retirement villages where some appear to be just sitting back and ‘Waiting for God”.   I have friends who ask me why I am still so involved in many things instead of just enjoying my retirement.  I tell them that I am enjoying my retirement.

Here in New Zealand, we have a TV channel dedicated to UK Television so we get to see reruns of some of the old comedy programs.

Title card - One foot in the grave

photo via Wikipedia

Have you heard of “One Foot in the Grave” – a sitcom featuring Victor Meldrew and his long-suffering wife, Margaret?  After being forced to take involuntary early retirement, the series followed Victor’s various efforts to keep himself busy, whilst encountering various misfortunes and misunderstandings. This program ran for 11 years in the UK.


Waiting for God

Photo BBC TV

 Another comedy is “Waiting for God” set in a retirement home but the protagonists were two feisty oldies who wouldn’t buckle down to the quiet life that was expected of them.  Great television.

And I don’t feel old and I don’t know of anything I want to do that I am stopped doing because of my age.  Only thing I can think of is renting a car but that is easily overcome by taking out my own insurance.  See rental car companies don’t want to take a chance on my being doddery.  And they don’t even know me.

Anyway, back to the subject in hand.  I have produced my Bucket List so I do know what I still want to do before I leave this world.  And I want to do all these things and more.  Too many to list but I intend to do whatever I do joyfully and with as much fun as possible.  And I have no doubt I shall hike into my old age and hopefully,  grow old disgracefully.

Age is the acceptance of a term of years.
But maturity is the glory of years.

— Martha Graham